To the kids, trick-or-treating is all about the fun, the costumes, and of course, the candy. That puts parents as chief of safety concerns, steering their young goblins toward a night of spooky but safe entertainment. Attention to these five components of trick-or-treating will do just that.
Like we said, for the kids, the costume is king. But their thoughts will focus on trendy and hip rather than safe. So, that’s where the adults must step in to ensure that junior’s costume won’t be a safety hazard.
- ALL costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Check to ensure tails, oversized shoes, or other costume elements do not present a tripping hazard.
- Confirm that masks, hats, or wigs do not hinder vision.
- If children will be out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costume or goody bag.
It’s scary to even think about, but we must. The National Safety Council reports that children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. That’s why adults should accompany even older children so they can remind the excited tricksters to:
- Walk on the sidewalk –NOT the street.
- Cross at intersections rather than in the middle of the block.
- Look both ways before crossing.
To minimize disagreements and tantrums, make plans beforehand. Determine the route, preferably in a well-lit area, and agree on a time to end the festivities. Establish that all electronic devices will stay tucked in pockets so as not to be a distraction. Insist on walking only, no running.
The “Candy Rules”
Make no exceptions despite puppy-dog-eyes pouting or persistent begging.
- NO eating candy along the route.
- NO eating candy until an adult has checked it.
- NO eating ALL the candy in one sitting.
- Explain why opened packages or pieces not in the original wrapper will be tossed.
Review “stranger danger” details
- Caution children to not approach any vehicle unless their adult chaperone gives the “all clear.”
- Adults, be attentive to people who may call out from a parked or moving vehicle as if they know you.
- Remind children not to enter any home—no matter how friendly the host OR how wonderfully decorated the home/yard—unless the chaperone gives a nod of approval.
Even though trick-or-treating is an outdoor event, include a few COVID-friendly precautions in your night of safe Halloween fun.
- Don’t gather all the kids in the neighborhood into one large group, but rather, stick with family units.
- Leave lots of space between groups instead of forming a giant line down the sidewalk.
- Kids touch everything, remember? So have them give their hands a good scrubbing before heading out and immediately upon arrival back home. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer handy for the in-between times.
- Insist that anyone who’s even a little under the weather stays home. If the family has been exposed to the virus, be firm in the decision to sit out this year’s festivities.
The folks at A.R. Mazzotta wish everyone a safe, happy, and fun-filled Halloween.